Fall Vegetable and Orzo Casserole

6 Serves

Seasonal vegetables and healthy orzo take center stage in this family-friendly casserole dish.


  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 pound orzo pasta

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch wedges

  • 2 small bulbs fennel, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 1 small red onion, julienned

  • 5 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together panko, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  3. Divide butternut squash between two baking sheets, spreading in an even layer. Drizzle each baking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and roast until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 5 minutes; drain and transfer to bowl with squash.

  5. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer fennel to bowl with squash and orzo.

  6. Return skillet to medium heat and add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, and 1 cup water; let simmer until tomatoes begin to soften, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to bowl with orzo, squash, and fennel. Fold in sage and season with salt and pepper.

  7. Transfer orzo mixture to a 3-quart baking dish; cover with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil. Transfer to oven and bake for 15 minutes; uncover and sprinkle top with panko mixture. Return baking dish to oven and bake, uncovered, until panko is toasted, about 10 minutes more. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and serve.

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